Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Renew Your Driver's License in Cebu City?

Photo Credit to:
9:07 A.M.
Touchdown at SM City Cebu, home of the LTO Driver's License Renewal Center. With my friend to help me pass the time, we sit at the entrance as we watch the multitude of store workers queuing up to start their day of honest labor.

9:32 A.M.
After 30 or so minutes of just sitting there and getting out butts numb, an idea pops into my head: "Why not go to Starbucks and drink a frappuccino while waiting for the gates to be opened, on a relaxing couch and cool music?" After querying with my friend, we circumnavigate the grand building to the coffee shop entrance, order my drink, sit, and wait.
Note: this act proves to be a much needed help, not only for the caffeine boost in the next scene, but also to trigger those kidneys to produce much-needed urine.

10:03 A.M.
The flood gates are opened and the throng of people wanting to get in are set forth the mall confines. I watch this happen in slow motion from the couch of Starbucks, and quickly realizing what I must be doing. Run.

I tell my friend to meet me at the LTO Renewal Center as I make a run for it towards there, with the other people (mostly men) as my competitors of my little marathon.

For those of you who do not know where the LTO Renewal Center in SM Cebu is, it is located directly one floor below the bowling complex. It looks like this:

Photo Credit to:
I crossed my imaginary finish line. I am number 24. Now I start my stopwatch to monitor the rate of my renewal process.

Step 1: Cashier

  • You Fall in line to the drug testing cashier (HLO testing). Make sure you prepare: your expiring/expired license, PHP 400 for the drug test and physical (300 and 100, respectively), and a pen (doesn't matter if blue or black). After you pay, the cashier gives you a wad of papers to fill up. Now starts the second marathon, the marathon of speed writing. The first one to submit their completely filled-up forms will get the #1 priority number, and so on, on the area beside the cashier.

Step 2: Urine Sampling 
  • You wait on the steel benches for your priority number to be lit up on the properly marked announcement screen. Once your number shows on the second step, prepare your bladders. You will now be submitting a urine sample. Each bottle is labeled with your name, and as you hand in the filled-up container, you sign on top of it.

Step 3: Biometrics
  • Once your priority number flashed on the screen for Step 3, you will be asked to have your right thumb print scanned thrice, and a webcam picture of you will be taken.

Step 4: Medical Exam
  • This is the last part of the battery of tests you have to undergo. In this step, you will me made to look at the Snellen Eye Chart for visual acuity (practice on line 8 for you not so visually gifted), a quick BP check and history taking by the doctor. Also, it is here that you will be weighed and your height measured.

When you are done with this stage, the papers you have left and your expiring/expired license will be inspected by Manong Guard. You will then write your name on his logbook, and proceed next door, to the LTO License Renewal stage.

11:03 A.M.
I have just finished writing my name in Manong Guard's logbook, and proceed to the adjacent place and show your documents. The gentleman there will give you a sheet to fill up, which you will return to him once you're done. Here's the gentleman, strategically situated at the entrance of the Renewal Center:

And, here's the form that you need to fill up:

After you have filled this form up, the gentleman will staple your expiring/expired license to it, and you need to submit it to the 1st counter.

Now, at this Renewal Center, there are not much people, so the room gets kinda quiet. The people at the counter will begin to shout your name. There are 4 counters you need to go to, each with its specific tasks:

1: Evaluator
- This guy is who you will submit your form/old-license hybrid to.

2: AMPI Photo/Signature
- Here's where you will be photographed for your license, and your signature be recorded for printing on your card.
- Follow this woman's directions for the photo to the letter. Also, you might wanna spruce up a bit before you go meet her.

3: Cashier
- Here's where you need to pay for your renewal fee (plus any other penalties for overdue renewal)
- Renewal Rate: PHP 350.00
- Penalty Rate: PHP 75.00
- Comp Fee: PHP 67.63 (I honestly have no idea what this is)

4: Releasing

- This guy will be the last one to call you out to give you your renewed license. He will also need for you to log it in his own logbook that you received your renewed license.
- Also, this guy sells license card jackets to help protect your license from wear and tear. I didn't bother to buy one since my old card jacket is still functioning. (But, me thinks it's around PHP 50)

Stopwatch time: ~ 1 hr, 50 mins
Over-all Rating of the Service: 4.5 / 5


  1. I just renewed my driver's licensed this month April 22,2013.

    In SM City Cebu

  2. If you don't mind my asking? abli ba ug saturday LTO sa SM?


    1. Sorry, no. Like any other government agency, they close on the weekends

  3. Dude, please lose the music on this site. But, thanks for the tips... I just went yesterday (8/14/2013) to Cebu SM location and spent 2 hours and 40 minutes there after arriving at 10:10am. My time was split about even between waiting for medical and the renewal process. Numbers 10-20 took an hour to get started with the medical whereas the next 22 numbers took less than 30 be careful if walking off... This place is the one exception to the arrive early rule. You should actually go later in the day around 2:30pm for non-peak and supposedly quicker processing times... Also, there is no more drug testing. The Philippines will now implement field sobriety tests and drug tests for people in accidents. Overall, not a bad experience, other than drinking coffee and water to perform the drug test and then having to hold my bladder for a while since there is no drug test. Total cost: p518 (p100 medical, p418 renewal)

  4. hi naa ko pangutana kung nawala akong official receipts sa driver's license pwede ra ba ang lisensya lang dad-on?

  5. Hello! Ahm, do you happen to know if they still do drug testing? Thanks! =D

  6. do they have cut-off time? i'm off from work at 2pm.

  7. Where can I renew my expired driver license last April 2013?


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